New Zealand lies deep in the South Pacific, an island not to itself, but by itself. This seclusion has resulted in an amazing example of extraordinary flora and fauna. Aside from the incredible wildlife and sweeping views, New Zealand is home to over 2000 unique plants that have had the interest of the natural medicine and herbal remedy crowds for a long time. One plant in particular, horopito, or pseudowintera colorata, has been of specific interest due to its demonstrated ability at fighting harmful organisms, including fungus and candida albicans.
What are the Benefits of Active Horopito?
Although horopito has been cited as having antioxidant activity and a resistance to inflammation, most of the excitement surrounding it is due to it containing a compound called polygodial. Polygodial has been extensively researched and repeatedly shown to be toxic to funguses, yeast, and bacteria; both alone and when used in combination with other herbs.
The Department of Environmental Science at the University of California Berkeley has reported many significant findings concerning polygodial. Researchers there evaluated the in vitro activity of polygodial and reported that it demonstrated strong and fast fungicidal activity against candida albicans. When conditions are acidic, polygodial’s defense against funguses sharply increases.  
Active Horopito and Anise Seed
Although polygodial is extremely noteworthy on its own, it also performs well in tandem. When it’s combined with anethole, the active ingredient in anise seed, the efficacy of polygodial goes through the roof. Whereas polygodial attacks fungus and bacteria at a molecular level, actually punching holes directly through cell membranes and infiltrating cells directly to initiate its vengeance, anethole’s role is to prevent the attacked cells from recovering. A combination of both compounds produces a one-two punch that is toxic against fungus and bacteria, including candida and salmonella.    
Researchers at TMC Hospital in Shizuoka, Japan observed this effect when evaluating a polygodial-anethole compound against multiple fungal pathogens, including candida. Not only was the compound effective, no adverse effects were reported. 
Supplementing with Active Horopito
If you’re one of the 80 million Americans who suffer from a form of yeast infection, I recommend cleansing your body and supplementing with the herbs that have proven effective at fighting fungus and yeast infections. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, only invest in supplements that are produced using non-toxic, organic means. Herbs like horopito have their advantages but if they are grown in toxic conditions and pumped full of pesticides you may be better off without it!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
- Fighting Fungus: Cleansing With Anise Seed
- 10 Natural Remedies for Yeast Infections
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- The Health Benefits of Probiotics
- Kubo I, Fujita K, Lee SH, Ha TJ.Antibacterial activity of polygodial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16372365
- Lee SH, Lee JR, Lunde CS, Kubo I. In vitro antifungal susceptibilities of Candida albicans and other fungal pathogens to polygodial, a sesquiterpene dialdehyde. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232062
- Fujita K, Fujita T, Kubo I. Anethole, a potential antimicrobial synergist, converts a fungistatic dodecanol to a fungicidal agent. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17078111
- Kubo I, Fujita K. Naturally occurring anti-Salmonella agents. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11743758
- Kubo I, Taniguchi M. Polygodial, an antifungal potentiator. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3286823
- Kubo I, Fujita K, Lee SH, Ha TJ.Antifungal mechanism of polygodial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16122929
- Metugriachuk Y, Kuroi O, Pavasuthipaisit K, Tsuchiya J, Minelli E, Okura R, Fesce E, Marotta F. In view of an optimal gut antifungal therapeutic strategy: an in vitro susceptibility and toxicity study testing a novel phyto-compound. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15904429